ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

RDP Housing is a Long Term Disaster!

Updated on October 7, 2015

Poverty and Co-Dependence on Governments

There is no government in the world that is not dealing with some form of poverty or unemployment. Could it be that we have been looking at the problem from the wrong direction?

When you really stop to think about it, do people need jobs, or do people need food, homes and clothes? Those of us who are employed are certainly not doing all that well either! The world is in a credit crisis and has a lack of food and clean water - so do we really need more "jobs"? Do we really need to bring more people INTO the credit crunch problem?

Perhaps all the world's poverty is in fact an opportunity to 'reboot" our system! The answers are right in front of us.

In South Africa, our government has committed to building homes for people. This is a commitment made with the best intentions but is indirectly creating more poverty and dependence on the government, not to mention creating more and more "slum areas".

RDP houses, part of the Reconstruction and Development Programme in South Africa, are generally small, square shoe box homes, built by the cheapest contractor possible.

Naturally, these homes once lived in will then need to be furnished and maintained and will require water and electricity to make them truly worthwhile. This in itself is creating a problem as most impoverished people can barely feed themselves, never mind buy furniture.

Recently, these homes have been equipped with solar powered geysers, definitely a step in the right direction, but then this got me thinking - if we've thought so far as to give people free energy geysers, why didn't we go the whole hog, do it properly and create self sustaining homes and communities?

SA's current RDP ShoeBox "Houses"

Building a Home, not a House

As you can see from the accompanying picture on the right, RDP houses are built very small, with little space between themselves and their neighbor. there is no room for growth or gardening.

Yet South Africa is such a rich country and its people born of farmers!

How the Energy Plan Works

Beautiful, Sunny & Stylish Earth Ship Home

A Bright Future in A Bright Home

Let's use two models to create a new concept.

Homes take time, effort, energy and money to run. A shell on its own does not a home make. The recent introduction of Earth ships homes is exactly what the world has been looking for! Built from sustainable materials that will not only build a home but clean up the environment, Earth Ships are a self contained self sustaining nucleus and haven. they are cheap to build, cheap to maintain and will keep their owners fed, housed and provided with free energy all their lives. Now THAT is an idea worth rolling out!

Earth ship homes are built out of recycled materials such as old tyres and recycled glass. They are quick and easy to build and come in a variety of sizes at a variety of costs, but start from as little as R 70 000 ($7000).

When one considers that this price includes making a family completely self sufficient and provides them with shelter, warmth, sustainable energy and food, it is a very small price to pay indeed!

Earth ships are bright, open and light and can be modified by their owners as they grow or to personal taste. A far cry from the small, symmetrical homes which are too small to even have ablution facilities!

Earth ships can be built with unskilled labour - a couple in Europe recently built their own home in just 8 weeks without a crew!

RDP houses are reliant on building contractors and specialized staff. these costs can be negated if the government were to train Earth Ship specialists and then go into communities to teach people how the design works and how to build their own homes!

Paradise and Food Under Your Own Roof

Community Living - The Way of the Future

Encouraging Community Over Separation

The Kibbutz is a very successful model when it comes to self sustaining agriculture and shared work communities.

People pay to go on these working holidays to meet others, experience another way of life and learn a bit about agricultural life. Transfer this model here and ask yourself, why isn't the government building self sustaining homes and communities, rather than rows and rows of poverty stricken homes, trapped in a ghetto with the owners still seeking employment to keep themselves fed?

Why not build communities of earth ship self sustaining homes, with gardens and room to grow in a small "kibbutz style" community where families can work together to trade what they have in excess or take care of livestock, a swimming pool and communal services?

Why not create training teams to teach people how to build their homes and tend their gardens? It would cost our government a little more now perhaps but long term it eases the burned on tax payers, it creates a future for the impoverished and may even solve our food and water crisis!

The Cost of RDP "Houses" vs "Earth Ships"

Basic Model Home Style
Cost of Building
Cost of Training
Cost of Sustaining over 20 years
RDP Shoe Box
R 85 000.00
R 2000.00
R 200 000 or more
Earth Ship
R 70 000.00
R 5 000.00
R 50 000 or less

Building Out of Old Used Tyres

Your Opinion?

Do you agree with the author that this could be an answer to world poverty, housing and hunger?

See results

Where to From Here?

There are people with similar idea who are starting to buy up land and start projects like these for themselves and their families now that the fall of banks and the credit crisis is affecting so many.

There are several forums and websites connecting such people, a good place to start is to learn more about earth ship homes and then look for people who are building them !

Useful websites on this matter are:

A Beautiful "Green" Earth Ship Home


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)